Hidden behind a famous cemetery in a valley of the Pali, stalked by wild peacocks and black swans, is the Byodo-In Temple, a replica of Japan’s 900-year-old Buddhist temple. The original stands in Uji, on the outskirts of Kyoto; the Hawaiian version was erected in 1968 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.
E Noa Tours sure does take me to some interesting places! This was totally awesome for a little tiki to get to come here!
The Temple was surrounded by a large pond with little waterfalls, little bridges, and lots of really big Koi fish, some almost 100 years old! Way older than me! The Temple is home to Amida, a golden Buddha unique to the entire world. The 9-foot meditation Buddha, is thought to be the largest figure carved outside of Japan. It is an original work of art carved by famous Japanese sculptor, Masuzo Inui. When it was finished, he covered it with cloth and painted it with three layers of gold lacquer. Gold leaf was later painted over the lacquer finish. Around the Buddha are 52 smaller sculptures depicting Boddhisattvas (enlightened beings) floating on clouds, dancing, and playing musical instruments. The hall and all the artistry it reflects are regarded as representing the essence of the culture of the Fujiwara aristocracy.
The Bell House, called kanetru-ki-do, contains a five-foot-high, three-ton brass bell, called bon-sho (sacred bell), cast in Osaka, Japan, from a mixture of bronze and tin. It resembles the bell hanging in an identical Bell House at the Uji Byodo-In. The original is more than 900 years old and comes from India. It has a distinctive shape, and the tone of the bell sounds a message of deep calm and peace, cleansing the mind of evil and temptation. A soft wooden log called the “shu-moku” is used to strike the bell.
The bell is customarily rung before one enters the temple to spread the eternal teachings of Buddha. Ringing the bell will purify the mind of evil spirits and temptation. It is said that ringing this bell will bring you happiness, blessings, and a long life. I tried to ring the bell but I was too short. I couldn’t reach it!
Here are some photos of my visit. Enjoy!
Byodo-In Temple is one of the exciting Oahu tour stops on our Tour #1: Majestic Circle Island Tour.